Airman and Family Readiness Center - Information and Referral
Unit 8431
APO AE 09468-8431
Second Avenue
Building 534, West Wing
Harrogate, United Kingdom HG3 2RF

Phone 011-44-1423-777-730
Phone (DSN) 314-262-7730
Fax 011-44-1423-777-459
Fax (DSN) 314-262-7459

Mon – Fri 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sat and Sun - closed
Holidays – Closed

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Motor Vehicles

Vehicle Registration Office (VRO)

The VRO is located in building 416 room 001 and is a vital part of your inprocessing. You will need to inprocess with VRO to secure a date to accomplish the 3AF Drivers' License Test. You must test and receive your 3AF license within 30 days of your arrival. When you come to inprocess, please bring your current vehicle registration, a valid stateside license, and any documents relating to your vehicle shipment. All documents must be originals.

Out Processing your POV

When you are departing from RAF Menwith Hill we require the following documents to be handed into VRO to allow us to clear you:

  • Shipping Document from Transcar or your private shipping agent
  • V5c (British Registration Document)
  • RAF Menwith vehicle pass (pink card)
  • Vehicle tax disc if you require a refund
  • USAFE driving/fuel permit(s) for all family members

Concession Vehicle

A concession vehicle is any vehicle purchased or imported into the UK on which the customs duty, VAT and car tax is waived by the UK government. This includes motorcycles and off-road vehicles. The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) grants this entitlement.  The tax you will be exempt is up to 25% of the value of the vehicle therefore it is vital you complete the correct paperwork with VRO.

Accompanied married personnel are entitled to two concession vehicles between them regardless of whether both are employees. Unaccompanied or single personnel are entitled to one concession vehicle.

Once assigned to the UK, military personnel are automatically entitled to purchase or import a concession vehicle. DoD Civilians and US Contractors are entitled to purchase a concession vehicle after receipt of the Civilian Componency Endorsement Stamp, which can take up to 4 months to obtain. However a SOFA letter obtained from individual HR departments will allow processing of concession vehicles on arrival at RAF Menwith Hill.

Concession vehicles are for the use of sponsor and their dependents only.

Insurance coverage should provide coverage for "revenue payable" in the event the vehicle is written off or stolen so that the insurance company would be responsible for any taxes owed.

Concession vehicles may be disposed of as follows:

  • Permanent exportation from the UK 
  • Payment of applicable customs and excise revenue. (You are then free to sell or dispose of vehicle in any way you desire) 
  • Sale or presentation to an authorized scrap dealer. (Check with VRO for instruction) 
  • Sale or presentation to another entitled person 
  • Release to an insurance company as a "total loss" claim 
  • Application for change in status after one year in the UK, if qualified. (T.O.R.)

NOTE: ALL TRANSACTIONS MUST BE  AUTHORIZED BY VRO.

Importing a Concession Vehicle

Upon arrival, bring your vehicle's stateside Registration or Title to the Vehicle Registration Office (VRO) and we will complete a Customs and Excise Form 941 in order to have your vehicle delivered to RAF Menwith Hill.

When you have picked up your vehicle, go to VRO with proof of insurance and obtain a temporary vehicle pass.

Ministry on Transport (MOT) Certificate

A MOT (Ministry of Transport) test certificate is required by UK law to certify that your vehicle meets safety standards, and is road worthy. All vehicles over 3 years must pass a MOT test which needs to be renewed every 12 months. A MOT for a 3 year old vehicle can be issued by any MOT testing station. The testing station will either issue the MOT certificate (at an average cost of $60), or charge for any work required to make your car road worthy plus the cost of the MOT certificate. There is no grace period and no reminder will be sent out.

Imported U.S. vehicles that are under 3 years old require a Special MOT. The Special MOT needs only to be renewed when the vehicle officially reaches 3 years old.

You must now make an appointment with a local garage to obtain an MOT. If your vehicle is over three years old you will need a standard Ministry of Transport (MOT) certificate; if your vehicle is less than 3 years old you need to obtain a "Special (SVA) MOT" from one of the four authorized testing stations. These must be obtained before your application for a UK plate number can be submitted.

Road Tax for Concession Vehicles

VRO will fill out an application for your 1st years free road tax and send off your application for a UK plate number. In order to complete this procedure, you must supply VRO with the following original documents:

  • Certificate of motor insurance or cover note
  • US registration or title
  • MOT test certificate
  • Customs form C&E 941

You will pick our free Tax Disc, which will be mailed to VRO, along with your original insurance policy, registration or title and your MOT. Approximately 1-2 weeks after you receive these documents, you will receive your V5c (British Registration Document).

Upon receipt of your UK plate number, you need to notify your insurance company of this number and have your plates made. Display the Road Tax Disc in the lower left hand corner of the windshield and place your new plates on the vehicle.

It is vital that you inform the insurance company of your new UK plate number.

Finally, go to VRO, taking with you your Certificate of Insurance or cover note, expiry date of your Road Tax Disc, and MOT Certificate. You will then be able to pick up your Pink Vehicle Decal and collect a permanent gas card.

You have 72 hours from the time you take possession of your vehicle to begin processing for your UK plate number. If processing is not begun during this 72 hour period, you may be liable for British road tax for the current month.

V5c (British Registration Document)

The V5c is a document issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) in Swansea when you first register your vehicle in the UK. RAF Menwith Hill's Vehicle Registration Office (VRO) must assist in handling the paperwork to obtain this document.

Use your post office box number for your address therefore you will not have to notify the DVLA if you move your home address while stationed here.

To prove ownership, you will need a bill of sale. While assigned to RAF Menwith Hill, any change in ownership or address must be handled through the Vehicle Registration Office.

Use your post office box number for your address therefore you will not have to notify the DVLA if you move your home address while stationed here.

Bring your V5 or V5/cto Vehicle Registration Office to change it into your name as the new keeper.

When purchasing a vehicle in the UK the V5c is not proof of ownership... To prove ownership, you will need a bill of sale. While assigned to RAF Menwith Hill, any change in ownership or address must be handled through the Vehicle Registration Office.

USAFE Driving Permit

You are required to have a 3AF Form 435 Driving/Fuel Permit to use in conjunction with your Stateside or foreign license while stationed in the UK. You have 30 days to obtain the permit from your date of arrival in the UK. There is a test covering the British Highway Code and road signs which you will need to pass before you can be issued a permit.

Testing is done in the Testing Room in Building 620 at 1:00 pm every Thursday; testing must be pre booked via Education 314-262-7853/7927. A mandatory driver's familiarization tour meets at 10:45 a.m. at the base bus stop and must be complete prior to taking the written test.  Please check times of testing when booking.

After passing the test, you will be issued a 3 AF Form 435 Driving/Fuel permit by Vehicle Registration Office (VRO) in Building 416. You must have a valid U.S. driver’s license to be issued a USAFE driving permit. Remember to keep both your stateside license and your driving permits current at all times. 3AF Form 435 Driving/ Fuel Permits have an expiration based on your official DEROS date and it is your responsibility to keep your United States license valid while assigned to the UK unless a military waiver applies.

The 3AF Form 435 Driving/Fuel permit is the legal document which allows you to drive within the UK and individuals who hold a British license are also required to possess a permit. The minimum driving age in the UK is 17 therefore all dependents that have driver's licenses and are over this age will need a 3AF Form 435 DRIVING/FUEL PERMIT.

Motorcycle license holders must be able to show a U.S license with motorcycle endorsement clearly shown.

International Driver's License

If you intend to drive outside the UK on mainland Europe an International Driver's License is recommended. Application forms can be requested from the British post office off base.

3AF FORM 435 DRIVING/FUEL PERMIT

The 3AF Form 435 Driving/Fuel Permit is issued to Entitled personnel authorizing them to purchase gasoline from AAFES gas stations at a tax-free rate. A maximum of four vehicles are authorized on the 3AF Form 435 to receive tax-free gas. As per 3rd Air Force instruction No. 34-201 "gasoline purchased tax-free is for Official Use Only and not to be used for pleasure driving".

Entitled personnel are defined as sponsors and their spouses only. Dependent children are not entitled to tax-free gasoline.

The expiration date on the Driver/Fuel Permit (3AF Form 435) is based upon your orders. Therefore, when you update your other documents such as ID card and passport, you must update your permit.

In order to receive the Driving/Fuel Permit the following documents must be seen by Vehicle Registration Office:

  • V5c form (British Registration Document)
  • Certificate of Motor Insurance or Cover Note
  • MOT certificate. (if applicable)
  • Provide expiry date of road tax disc
  • Stateside or foreign driving license
  • Orders Showing extension or updated ID Card

Please have all documents with you when you apply for the fuel permit as this speeds up the processing time. Only original documents will be accepted.

Insurance

UK law states if you are driving a vehicle or riding a motorcycle you are responsible for ensuring you are legally insured to do so.

The only two documents that prove you are legally insured to drive in the UK are either a valid "Certificate of Motor Insurance" or a current cover note (Green Cards are only proof of insurance in Europe not the UK)

Policies are normally restricted to the policy holder only or the policy holder and named drivers (a spouse will be classed as a named driver). Do not let anyone else drive your car unless you have made prior arrangements for them to be covered. If your vehicle is a concession vehicle only your dependants can be insured to drive the vehicle.

All full coverage policies will have a collision deductible, make sure you know what your deductible is and beware of very low limits on coverage for radios and windows. Arrange higher value coverage for expensive accessories and it is advisable to cover concession vehicles for theft as Customs revenue will be payable if the vehicle is stolen.

A British motor insurance policy is canceled without refund of premium upon payment of total loss claim and a new policy has to be purchased for any replacement vehicle.

When you take out or renew your insurance, disclose all previous accidents, convictions, violations and tickets whether in the UK or in the USA. Failure to do this can result in your insurer refusing to indemnify you when a check is made on your driving record following an accident.

If you are under 25, your policy may not cover you to drive other people's cars. If you require this coverage, see your insurance representative.

It is a condition of your policy that you maintain your vehicle in a roadworthy condition at all times including tires and brakes; this is part of the annual MOT requirement. If your vehicle is in any way not roadworthy or your MOT inspection certificate has expired your insurers would be entitled to refuse to indemnify you in the event of an accident, in addition to this, you are breaking the law.

It is usually possible to purchase an annual policy by spreading the payments over a number of paydays. However, if an accident occurs while there is a balance of premium outstanding, the balance will have to be paid immediately. It is not possible for a claim to be dealt with until the full premium has been paid.

There are huge differences between American and British insurance and it is your responsibility to make sure you are fully conversant with the details of your insurance.

Tax Disc (Road Fund License)

The following are the most frequently asked questions, of VRO, regarding Vehicle Excise Licenses (Tax Disc):

What is a tax disc and why do I need one?

It is a tax imposed on all vehicles to enable them to use the UK roads. By law, any vehicle in your possession used or kept on public roads, must be taxed at all times. You must display a valid tax disc in the bottom left hand corner of the windshield, when looking out, to prove that the tax has been paid.

How often do I need a new disc?

Tax discs are required annually. You may purchase either a 12 or 6 month disc. It is your responsibility to know when your disc expires and to renew prior to expiry.

What do I need to obtain a new tax disc and where do I purchase it from?

You are required to take the following documents:

  • The Vehicle Registration Document (V5c)
  • Valid Certificate of motor insurance or a cover note (not the green card)
  • Current MOT if the vehicle is more than 3 years old
  • The reminder document (V11) received in the mail 7 days out.
  • Payment UK cheques, debit cards or cash (Credit cards not accepted)

If your last tax disc was exempt you must bring all the above documents to the VRO office in building 416 and we will mail to the appropriate authorities. The payment must be in the form of a UK cheque and allow 10 working days for delivery of new disc. After the second years disc you may obtain a new disc from the Post Office as above.

What could potentially occur if I fail to obtain a new tax disc?

As of 1st January 2004 if you fail to renew your disc prior to expiry, the authorities will automatically issue an £80 fine (reduced to £40 if paid within 28 days). Persistent offenders could be fined a minimum £1000.

What do I need to do with my tax disc once I leave the UK or sell my vehicle?

If you export your vehicle you may apply for a refund on any full months left on your tax disc.
If you sell your vehicle it is normal practice, in the UK, to leave the disc with the vehicle and it becomes the responsibility of the new owner to renew prior to expiry. Therefore it is important to notify the UK authorities (DVLA Swansea) when a transfer of vehicle takes place by completing the British Registration Document (V5c). When DVLA have been notified they will issue an acknowledgement letter to confirm the vehicle record has been changed.

Hands free Devices

Hands-free devices must be used while operating a motor vehicle on ALL military installations worldwide and on UK roads.

Vehicle Pass (Pink Card)

A vehicle pass is issued when you register your vehicle on Station with VRO. This pass should be displayed on your vehicle or the sun visor or windshield whenever you are entering or leaving the Station and during the period your vehicle is on Station.

Once issued, the Vehicle Pass belongs to the car owner and is not to be used for any other vehicle(s). When you complete the paperwork with the VRO to change ownership or dispose of the vehicle, this Vehicle pass will be turned in to the VRO.

Temporary Vehicle Pass (POVs and Rental Cars)

Temporary vehicle passes are issued to vehicles that require access to the Station on a short-term basis. The temporary vehicle pass should be prominently displayed with the written side up when entering the Station and at all times when the vehicle is on Station. Temporary passes should be returned to either VRO or the MoD Police when you no longer have the vehicle or when you leave Station for the last time.

Out Processing your POV

When you are departing from RAF Menwith Hill we require the following documents to be handed into VRO to allow us to clear you:

  • Shipping Document from Transcar or your private shipping agent 
  • V5c (British Registration Document) 
  • RAF Menwith vehicle pass (pink card) 
  • Vehicle tax disc if you require a refund 
  • USAFE driving/fuel permit(s) for all family members

Traffic

Road regulations are given in the "Highway Code" which is available from the British Post Office, Vehicle Registration Office and Administrative Services at RAF Menwith Hill. The majority of British traffic signs are of international standard. In Britain, you must drive on the left and pass on the right. The wearing of seat belts is compulsory. Unless signs indicate otherwise, the speed limits are 30 MPH in built up areas, 60 MPH on single lane highways, and 70 MPH on dual carriageways, and motorways. British roads are generally much narrower than U.S. roadsas are the, driveways, carports, and garages so beware.

Vehicle Checks

In England, the Police are authorized to conduct a random vehicle check to ensure proper credentials, and vehicle standards exist. They may check to ensure you have a proper driver's license, insurance, road tax, and MOT certificate. The Civil Police may also conduct a walk around of the vehicle checking all lights, and tire tread to ensure your vehicle is safe to be on the road.

Accidents

Report on-base, and off-base accidents to the Ministry of Defense Police (MOD). The report will be filed at Bldg 11. Emergencies are reported by telephoning 999 or 911.

Child Car Seats

New laws went into effect in Sept 2006 that require children under 1.35 meters or under 12 years of age to be in a child restraint such as a booster seat. British Cars are required to have a British car seat and American cars are required to have a US car seat.


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